Spinal Column | Member's Only Updates

Spinal health Community Loses Peer Professional in Sudden and Untimely Death

Preston Phillips, MD

As most of us have heard, SRS member Dr. Preston Phillips was shot and killed in Warren Clinic on South Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1, 2022. 

As I contemplated writing this obituary, I thought of the enormity of good that can be done by one professional in our field. Among our membership we have some of the leading practitioners in the field of spinal deformity. Our collective knowledge has spearheaded advances in spinal surgery all over the world. Dr. Phillips represented that drive for knowledge in every area of his career.  

In just four years at Emory University, Dr. Preston graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology, a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's in organic chemistry.  

After Emory, Dr. Phillips was accepted to Harvard Medical School and graduated with honors in 1992. He also completed fellowships at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Boston's Children's Hospital. 

According to his obituary from Harvard, he was the former team physician for the Tulsa Shock, part of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Phillips also participated in medical missions to Africa, organized by the Tulsa-based Light in the World Development Foundation. 

In addition to being a standing member of SRS, he was a Fellow of the American Orthopedic Association (AOA), and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He was also a member of the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society (JRGOS).  

AOA issued a statement after Dr. Preston’s death that sums up how we all feel as we move forward: “We will continue to care for our patients and embrace the oath we took as physicians. Although our hearts are heavy and our hands are weary, we will continue our service to others and never forget those who we have lost while in the line of duty.” 

You can watch the celebration of life for Dr. Phillips here.